U.S. theoretical physicist and astrophysicist Glenn Starkman (from the Department of Physics, Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio) lead a team of scientists in this research.
Starkman and his collaborators—Starkman’s former students De-Chang Dai and Arthur Lue (now at State University of New York, Buffalo), and Dejan Stojkovic (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)—published their results in the journal Physical Review Letters.
An abstract of their work is found in the December 2, 2009 ArXiv.org article “Electroweak stars: how nature may capitalize on the standard model's ultimate fuel.”
Their abstract states, “We study the possible existence of an electroweak star -- a compact stellar-mass object whose central core temperature is higher than the electroweak symmetry restoration temperature. The source of energy of the electroweak star is standard-model non-perturbative baryon number (B) and lepton number (L) violating processes that allow the chemical potential of B+L to relax to zero.”
And, “The energy released at the core is enormous, but gravitational redshift and the enhanced neutrino interaction cross section at these energies make the energy release rate moderate at the surface of the star. The lifetime of this new quasi-equilibrium can be more than ten million years. This is long enough to represent a new stage in the evolution of a star if stellar evolution can take it there.”
Starkman's team has claimed a new type of star exists out there in the Universe: the electroweak star.
Electroweak stars are defined as a type of massive, exotic star that has reduced its rate of supernova collapse (at least for awhile).
A supernova collapse can occur at the end of a massive star’s lifetime, after nuclear fusion has stopped from within its core and its gravitational field collapses the star.
Some massive stars eventually collapse into black holes (if they have masses greater than several solar masses). And, these electroweak stars have not quite made it to being black holes.
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